Autism Up More Than 50%
Self Injury The Closely Held Secret

Raw Truth About Autism Diagnosis and The Affect on Mental Health for Parent(s)

The first year after Christian was diagnosed with autism was, easily, the worst year of my life. I sank into a deep clinical depression and waited too long to seek help.

Reach out handNote: Many readers have had to deal with the traumatic experience of having a child diagnosed with autism. Some recently, others decades ago. It hurts. And not everyone is able to hitch up her big girl panties and forge ahead like a locomotive from the get go. Katie Wright's post might surprise you. We saw poised, elegant Katie on Oprah so many years ago - the first time a parent was allowed to mention vaccine injury on national TV as far as we know. We saw Katie at conferences, laughing, helping so many others. We knew Katie came from a wealthy family, her parents founded Autism Speaks and her Dad headed up NBC. We didn't know that Katie struggled mightily when Christian was diagnosed.  Any of you are welcome to share your story with us. You can always email me at AutismAges@gmail.com

By Katie Wright

The first year after Christian was diagnosed with autism was, easily, the worst year of my life. I sank into a deep clinical depression and waited too long to seek help.

All the signs were there but I was too traumatized to see them. Life can be hard and flat out awful, but with perspective and years, sometimes you can laugh. 

Right before Christian was diagnosed, I had given birth to my second son. I was struggling to lose the baby weight. Shortly after Christian’s diagnosis I went from size 12 to size 10 and the following month to size 6 and my regular clothes fit. A month later I realized I needed size 4 pants. I never owned size 4 pants. Rather than being thrilled I lost all the baby weight and then some, my reaction is, “Great! NOW I have to waste time and go buy new clothes.” At that time, losing weight and having to buy new clothes was the biggest hassle in the world. At least that makes me laugh now. 

Food had absolutely no taste. Everything tasted like cardboard and eating something like an apple seemed to take forever. Who has that kind of time? I would eat just enough to stop hunger pains and then quit. It felt like a LOT of work to chew and eat tasteless food anyway. My Mom tried to cheer me up and brought me a chocolate cake. My first thought was, “It never ends! One MORE thing I have to do! Eat cake!” Took a few bites to make my Mom happy but didn’t enjoy it at all.

I did not want to hear about happy people or families. Tragedies were not tragic enough for me. Books that I previously would have enjoyed just depressed me more. I am not Jewish but  I started reading a lot of books about the Holocaust. I must have read 25 such books. I should have realized I was depressed when I found solace in Holocaust books. They gave me a sense of perspective. The people in this literature were enduring the most horrific problems imaginable.

My husband told me I would feel better If I got back into running. I reluctantly gave it a try. I ran 6 miles after not exercising for 9 months. I vomited at the halfway point, but it felt strangely good. It was a punishing run and I felt alive. I deserved to be punished. No one blamed me for what happened to Christian, but I blamed myself. 

Halfway through the run I jogged by Silver Hill Hospital. It is a very upscale inpatient treatment center for people with addictions and mental health problems. I gazed longingly at their cozy cabins and at the people relaxing on Adirondack chairs. If only that could be me, I thought!! Did those people have any idea how lucky they are, I wondered? I wanted to check in so badly. Maybe someone could help me? 

I remember reading about a local woman in a car accident whose leg was broken in two places. I wasn’t sad for this woman, I was jealous. I thought lucky her! If ONLY I could have that kind of physical pain instead the emotional torture I felt for ruining my son’s life. 

Finally, it took me fantasizing that everyone would be better off if I were dead, to get help. Therapy did not make me happy, that was impossible at that time, but it did stabilize me. I could share thoughts and feelings that would be too upsetting for friends and family. I was able to confront my rage, without scaring someone. Soon I was able to stop punishing myself. I slowed down my runs and no longer made myself sick. Instead of just Holocaust books and movies as my entertainment, I started watching the “The Office.”

I was still profoundly depressed but I could function better. I also noticed my body felt better after normal exercise and as the result of eating more. Food started to taste. I still cried a lot and sometimes felt paralyzed with fear about Christian’s future, but it was a start.

I hope no other autism mom or dad waits so long to get help. Seriously, when you are really depressed, life is already awful, what do you have to lose??? Nothing! Get help. 

Comments

Jules

The honesty in your words hit home and I identify on many levels. My daughter regressed into moderate severe autism and I regressed into alcoholism. My husband at the time couldn’t fix his broken daughter, his broken wife so he physically and emotionally beat us into submission. I’ve been in an ugly custody battle since the beginning of the pandemic. I never gave up on my daughter but I did give up on myself. I’ve been on a healing journey since this pandemic and I’m grateful to have accepted that I’m an alcoholic and have a supportive recovery step program. I’ve found CBT works better when I’m honest. Love you Katie

Benedetta

Sorry I put this comment under the wrong article..

I meant to put it here:

Ah Bill, China is all that just because ol'e greedy, rich Americans wanted cheap labor.
Some in the CCP in China are now all worried about population numbers going too low, but then again there are some in the CCP that thinks it needs to go lower, cause that got plenty of people to waste. .

Katie I am so very sorry. I am so sick at heart that you had to go through this.
You had it really rough, but you are a tougher one than most of us and have done some good; more than most of us, for sure. .

When I look back on my own life I kept at it, till I made myself sick by my late 40s..
.
I started getting migraines.
Oh - a headache you say.

Oh No, I mean a debilitating ache, the pain made me throw up. I mean I had to lay in the bed all day long in a semi conscious state. I was awake enough to know I was very sick, and sleepy enough to not know what went on in the house hold.

From the time of the cluster of DPT vaccine injuries for my daughter, my son and my husband; I use to pray, and beg God every night for hours to take it away. .

Did that make me sick? After years of doing that, I decided I would stop doing that. I stopped begging God .
.
I had to stop worrying about the future. I had to stop myself from worrying at night, or I was useless. .
But then I grew angry with God.
Then one day when I started to rage about it all and how God just did not care, there was this thought out of no where. It was almost like a whisper, like it did not come from me, A whisper in my ear asked; soooo, you are angry at God? Do you angry at Jesus too?

Oh no! Jesus has always been my friend! !
Then my anger must be misdirected. It should be against people that don't care that they hurt other people. God has nothing to do with it. .

That one thought was the beginning of me returning to health.

Well that or I was finally put on thyroid pills,
Later I stopped eating gluten and went on a keto diet of almost no carbs. . But that all came a little later.

Gayle

Thank you Katie for your honest and deepfelt anxiety and depression post due to your son's autism diagnosis. I also have been suffering from depression and anxiety from my now adult son's autism diagnosis for years. Initially I tried to cope on my own, but as the years and continued stress went on I had to seek medical help for medications to help with my anxiety and depression and I am still taking these medications to this day. I also lost my mother like you lost yours and that has also contributed to my mental health issues. My mom lived with us and was like a second mother to my son and she was a great source of support for me, helping me to try and cope with autism. She and I would comfort each other and I miss her so much. I hope to read more posts from you in the future as it is a great source of help in our shared experience with the difficult life having a child/adult with autism.

Bill

Emma Philadelphia is right about the maiming bullets and other weapons strange economic impacts. I also heard North Vietnam used weapons of mass maiming that caused both long term and life long injuries and disabilities because of the economic impact of the disabled soldiers and maybe his disabled offspring would bring to the US and look who won that war the North Vietnamese. South Korea is in danger because so many men and many women are computer obsessed recluses sometimes these also unemployed despite few health issues. North Korea lost a lot of sickly, moronic and lunatic people which could sadly include people with autism these mass deaths happened from famine in the 1990's so Chosen's(North Korea) armed forces has gotten stronger not weaker while negative social factors and health issues are weakening Hanguk's (South Korea) army. The eugenic bigot Richards Dawkins has written about how famine killed off idiots and lunatics in 1950's China to that country's benefit then the economic boom of the 90's and 2000's happened because of these deaths.

annie

So many autism parents are among the strongest, kindest, most brilliant & brave people in the world! Katie, and the parents here, are at the top of that list.

Thank you, thank you, thank you AoA & Katie! Your words ring true for every parent!

malinn

Thank you, Katie, so nice to see your writing again!

Sher DeGenova

My son (after 2 girls) was born when I was 39. My husband and I are both special ed professionals - but we really had no idea what was going on with our son. No language, either emotionally flat or screaming, wouldn't stay put in a stroller or bed, toe-walked, and cried when in the sun...by the time he was dx at 5, I was relieved to put a name to his struggles. Our families didn't believe he had autism. They blamed us for stimatizing him, and subjecting him to all this "treatment". I was angry for a long time, partly at our son. Poor kid. As he got older, I would take out my anger on his CST, and by the time he was in High School, I was 'the parent who either cried or screamed' at IEP meetings. Nothing was appropriate educationally. I will say that one thing all we parents have in common is that our kids are the canaries in the coal mines. Schools just keep on changing programs and trying out new curriculums on our children, but never really get it right. Now I focus my angst on elected officials. It's been years since I have been able to calm down and appreciate the good in life. Autism and our son's dx has pushed me to focus on what is missing for him - and how our communities have let our autistic family members down.

Angus Files

Thanks Katie I know many many people who have not come out the other side as they were before Autism.Autism very rarely ends in a happy story.I could write a very long depressing list of tragedies of people we knew/know never mind what is in the press.

On the flip side we do get the most insane un real stories come our way as well floods etc.One of the funniest people we met was a chap Ill call him Neil but he decided that he wanted to teach his son how to ride a bike("if it killed him") and it nearly did.He had tried 3 wheeled bikes,bikes with stabelisers, and other contraptions him being a welding engineer the sky was no limit.But still his son couldnt ride a bike.So then he came up with the desperate brain wave of a tandem bike him in front "steering" and his son behindSo i said how did that go?Well I nearly died he said,all my son did was sit on the back and I had to pedal for both of us the hills were a nightmare!whilst he had his usual stimming which in turn more or less pushed the bike into on coming traffic whilst mass stim in progress.He gave up after that.He had finally realised enough was enough.

Thanks for sharing Katie keep well.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

Kate Taylor

thanks, Katie! very honest and brave xx

Emmaphiladelphia

My eldest brother fought in the Viet Nam war.
He mentioned that while he was there, our military began to issue "less harmful" bullets that maimed rather than killed. This way it took out more people because others had to care for them over a long period of time. This is what "autism" does to families. The injury goes beyond the child. I did not have access to mental health care, but my faith in Jesus got me through. Parents, get help however you can.
Thank you Katie for sharing this often ignored aspect of "autism'.

Pat

Thank you, Katie, for your honest, heart-rending account of dealing with Christian’s autism diagnosis. I’m sure it will offer support and solace to other parents who are experiencing this life-altering experience.

Dr William Gaunt

This will be helpful to many. More Katie Wright please.

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